Strikes, austerity and the Greek economy

On the news yesterday the headline about the proposed strikes this Summer was followed by the one about the riots in Greece.

The financial markets lost confidence in Greece’s ability to manage their own economy and their international credit rating crashed, the cost of insuring themselves against a credit default (known as credit default swaps) has soared and further increased their cost of borrowing.

The EU and IMF have bailed them out but set some very tough criteria on the loans and the Greek people are really feeling it.  Public sector jobs are being cut and salaries are being slashed, their are riots in the streets. 

The Greek parliament is is tatters and the current Prime Minister cannot form a coalition large enough to get a working majority to pass his budget.  If it isn’t passed Greece will default on their loan and run the risk of having some of the IMF money pulled, tipping them into deeper problems.

Meanwhile we have unions threatening to strike because they can’t be bothered to wait for a legal process to run it’s course (the RMT) and our own national bedt means that very generous public sector pensions will have to be a little less generous in the future (the teaching unions and PCS).

When I look at the Greek collapse and the relatively modest savings that the government have had to make to bring our economy back on track I genuinely wonder what planet some of the union leadership are on.

2 responses to “Strikes, austerity and the Greek economy

  1. Definitely not the same planet as the banking sector, which was responsible for much of this mess and has escaped scot-free. The unions impact on the economy will be minimal compared with the banks, or did you not notice what has happened over the last few years?

  2. Must enquire,

    As a “public sector servant” do you belong to a union? And yes, the young conservatives do not count;)

    On a personal note, this subject is a huge minefield I will ask you to be wary of adding too much political rhetoric. As a long serving public sector worker I am deeply appaled at the proposed changes to my retirement. Whilst striking may not stop the onslaught it may make the coalition rethink it's plans, remember Nhs reforms and the vote of no confidence?
    It's time the government issued some tangible choices with regards to pensions, let's remember why most of the public sector pension schemes are “generous” it's because the pay is rubbish (not counting your remuneration package)

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